Football: USC game thread

Click here for my game story. And here for my Cal notebook.

Final score: USC 62, Cal 28. The Bears (1-9, 0-7 Pac-12) now have lost eight in a row, 12 straight to Pac-12 teams and 14 in a row to FBS foes. Goff has moved into second on Cal’s single-season passing yardage list with 3,136 yards. Lawler caught two more TD passes, giving him five the past two weeks. The Bears had a season-high 195 rushing yards. USC (7-3, 4-2) are now bowl eligible.

End of third quarter: USC 55, Cal 21. Trojans going through the motions now, having pulled starting QB Kessler with 8:49 left. Allen also presumably done for the day: seven offensive touches, 192 yards. Goff has moved past Longshore into second on Cal’s single-season yardage list. Noah Beito, a redshirt freshman backup placekicker, has taken over the punting duties for Cal. The Bears have allowed 440 points this season — most ever in school history.

Halftime: USC 41, Cal 14. Well, not much happened there, right? Bears had momentum for precisely 39 seconds after Goff’s 4-yard TD pass to Kenny Lawler, then 24-yard flea-flicker TD pass to Darius Powe. That made it 21-14 with 9:41 left in half. But within span of 39 seconds USC scored twice — on 47-yard TD pass from Kessler to Allen, then 14-yard return by Josh Shaw after bocked punt. And it was 35-14 with 6:43 left.  Agholor later returned another punt 93 yards for a TD and a 41-14 lead. Cal may NEVER punt again. Not just today, either. Agholor became the first USC player to return two punts for TDs in the same game since Heisman Trophy winner Mike Garrett did it — against Cal — in 1965. Cal now has allowed five punt returns for TDs this season, a stunning total.

A few halftime stats, as if they matter at this point: Goff  is 19 for 28 for 130 yards and two TDs. He has become just the third Cal QB with 3,000 passing yards in a season and needs 11 more to move past Nate Longshore (2006) into second on Cal’s single-season list. USC actually only has a 243-204 edge in offensive yards, but that doesn’t include those 182 yards of punt returns for three TDs.

First quarter: USC leads 21-0. Nelson Agholor’s 75-yard punt return gave USC a 7-0 lead before the offense ever took the field. Then Trojans marched 79 yards for a TD, with Cody Kessler passing 12 yards to RB Silas Redd to make it 14-0. Bears looking lifeless today, except when they want to commit major penalties — two personal fouls and an unsportsmanlike conduct already . . . with 5 minutes to go in qtr. Javorious Allen’s 43-yard TD run — with two missed tackles by the Bears — made it 21-0. Cal has been outscored 157-41 in the first quarter this season and still hasn’t held a lead vs. USC since 2007.

WELCOME: Here at Memorial Stadium for the last time this season as the Bears (1-8, 0-6 Pac-12) take on USC (6-3, 3-2) in the annual Joe Roth Game.

The Bears are hoping to aviod making the wrong kind of history today: Only twice since Cal began playing football in 1886 has it completed a home schedule without a victory over an FBS (Division I) opponent: 1959 & 2001.

A variety of ignominious streaks Cal would like to end: a 7-game losing streak, 11 straight to Pac-12 foes, 13 in a row to FBS opponents.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Ray Finkle

    A win here makes the season! GO BEARS!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Go Bears!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    At least the first TD can be hung on Buh. 🙂

  • The Wisdom Cow

    can’t [sigh]

  • Steve W

    That first TD was all on Cal’s punter. What a shitty punt with no hang time. He has had too many of those this year. Put that on the list for next season: find a new punter.

  • Ray Finkle

    Play calling is bizzarre

  • Ray Finkle

    I haven’t had the pleasure of watching the last few games (directtv), but the offensive calls are borderline incompetent

  • Rollonubears

    Looks like goff is getting pretty good protection and we’re wasting it.

  • Ray Finkle

    Agree 100%

  • Rollonubears

    Damn we’re good at allowing the opposition to convert third and long! Lowe with another personal foul. He and Moala have about 10 this year. Great job sonny. Enjoy your cash.

  • Joey

    The teams effort in execution reflects Dykes effort in coaching. A complete joke. Cut our losses now.

  • Ray Finkle

    I feel horrible for the kids. Nobody can really argue how poorly coached these kids are. Just have to hope it gets better because we can’t control it. It’s Super nice outside, so there’s always that, when game totally derails.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Putting a nice drive together.

    So, did play selection improve that much, or execution, or maybe focus, OR is it the other D letting up after we get down big early?

    This has happened too many times to be some kind of coincidence.

  • Ray Finkle

    TD! Yes, at least these kids don’t quit.

  • Woj

    Touchdown! USC again. 28 points given up in 22.5 minutes of game time.

    A ‘Buh’ is defined as 3TDs. So USC has scored 1.333 Buhs in just over 23 minutes of game time. Extrapolate that as you get about 3 Buhs today for USC.

    It’s ridiculous how putrid Cal’s defense is at times. Truly breathtaking. And yet there are defenders of Stormy Dykes and Buh on this board. These are probably the same folks that ‘feel’ the Obamacare website rollout was well done too instead of look at facts and reality.

  • Ray Finkle

    Only CAL could cut 21-0 lead to 7, only to be down 21 3 min later. Comical/Annoying?Frustrating

  • Woj

    @ Joey Says:
    November 9th, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    The teams effort in execution reflects Dykes effort in coaching. A complete joke. Cut our losses now.

    Amen brother. Nothing Dykes and Buh have done even makes me want to give them a 2nd year. Too bad there isn’t a clause in Dykes contract that says – Failure to defeat a single FBS opponent in 2013 terminates this contract from the following years.

    That clause would make common sense but Barbour and common sense in football coach contracts never match.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Just as the kindling of hope appears to have caught flame, the spark dies, hope dies, and the game is out of reach.

    Add the special teams coach on the “To Fire” list.

  • Steve W

    Two touchdowns and counting on Cal’s punter. And guys, just take a knee in the end zone on kick offs.

  • Woj

    My apology to Trojan fans. I predicted USC 48 Cal 17. I think I underestimated the USC offense. My bad.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Woj, at least get your facts straight.

    A “Buh” is defined as 21 points tallied AGAINST THE DEFENSE. There has only been 1 Buh so far.

  • Woj

    Well at least Cal will make Forde’s bottom 10 next week. Who says Cal isn’t nationally ranked in football??

  • Woj

    Sorry Wisdom Cow – I thought a ‘Buh’ was 21 points period. My bad.

    Is there a football definition for a ‘Dykes’ besides the obvious non-football meaning?

    The Memorial Stadium scoreboard looks like a pinball machine tally under USC and pretty much every Cal opponent. Rich Rod must’ve ripped AZ for that shoddy effect last week vs. Cal. I mean they won by less than 10.

  • Steve W

    Great chance that Cal can win the second half and claim a moral victory two weeks in a row.

  • Woj

    USC 41 – CAL 14 3:47 left 2nd quarter.

    Utterly embarrassing. Simply put the pink slip on both Barbour’s and Dykes desks at game end and end this debacle.

  • Ray Finkle

    Have a good day fellas, I’m out. This is beyond a debacle

  • DK

    What happened? My game cast was showing 28-14 just a couple of minutes ago. I check again and it’s 41-14.

    Defense/Special teams fail.

    This isn’t on the football players though. It falls on the coaches and staff. How about they just focus on fundamentals for the rest of the year: Blocking and Tackling.

  • DK

    This season by far has been the most painful to watch, which is something I never thought I’d say after watching Tedfords last season as HC.

    Last chance to win a game will be against Colorado. But they’re a much better, disciplined team. They show confidence and put up a fight even if they’re down 20 points.

    High morale, fundamentals, confidence.. Things we’ve been lacking this year.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Mr. Dykes,

    Welcome to that rarely visited circle of hell, the one where being so out-classed on the field results in something resembling NFL players taking on Junior High students (random students, not the athletes), a place where Jeff Tedford took us too many times.

    You are quickly catching up to him, however.

    That feeling you have, as if forced to drink a flaming glass of bile mixed with kerosine, we’ve had it for years now.

    Work your tail off and change things or quit. Sleep in your office. Make an increased effort the players can see and then match themselves.

    If you do not up your efforts as things get worse, you have accepted ineptitude, and the players will match you.

    I see too much sporadic effort by players, nothing consistent. I fear this matches the personality you portend to the players as well.

    The results may well stay pathetic, but the effort can and should both increase and become consistent.


  • DK

    Regardless, seems like everyone here bleeds Blue and Gold, as I do.

    It’s definitely frustrating, upsetting and downright depressing.

    Here’s to hoping for a better year next year.

    Don’t give up hope everyone. All programs have their ups and downs, highs and rock bottom lows.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Look at the bright side –

    It is a nice day. The game was not a late one, or you’d be too tired and grumpy to change the channel, and you’d fester in this clusterhump.

    Enjoy the day, not the Bears. Have it on more as background noise.

  • Rollonubears

    Nobody plays this poorly in the fbs, at home. And it’s been going on most years since 1994

  • Juancho

    Man. We are so bad. This bear raid was all smoke and mirrors. The offensive is nowhere neat the powerhouse we were pitched on.

    Recruiting is the only chance we have to close the gap. Need a spike moment

    Bovine is correct. Buhs are 21 on d.

  • Juancho

    Although that could be confusing. Maybe we should vote on it.

    Should a buh be 21 points regardless. Or just 21 by the d ?

  • Steve W

    A new Cal punter in the game. I give Sonny style points for that. This result today is simply a matter of bigger, stronger and faster athletes finally playing up to their potential under a new coach. That USC doesn’t dominate everyone every year is a mystery to me. They have more Five Star recruits on their team right now than Cal has had in the last 10 years.

  • Ray Finkle

    On 4th down Goff did a play fake w an empty backfield. Turned game back on in time to catch that gem

  • Dan

    This is so much worse than our worst nightmare.

    Since we can’t get rid of Dykes and pay for 3 head coaches for 2 more years, can we get rid of Barbour? She is SUCH a joke. She makes my stomach turn every time she talks, she sounds like a politician throwing out cliche-ish platitudes while this is the worst D1 play I’ve ever seen in my life.

    Why does Barbour, who clearly knows NOTHING about football(why would she?!!), hire the head coach? In what universe does an AD, one who by the way gave Tedford 2 unnecessary extra years when his teams were medicore at best, and knows nothing about football hire the head coach?!?. Red flag anyone? I didn;t love the hire when it happened, but was willing to give Dykes the benefit of the doubt. Now, count me extremely pessimistic.

    Since we can’t get rid of Dykes, Barbour HAS TO GO!!

    By the way, this is not a great $C team. That makes this even worse. To think I thought a few weeks in the season we would finally have shot to play the Cheater$ tough.

    Juancho- how are you mi amigo? This is UG-LEE huh? I’ve been mostly absent here due to switching jobs, and lots of travel- plus there is so much redundant posts here (Woj!CoughCough!!), but wanted to say hi- hope all in non-Cal related matters in your life.

    And why no ZK here in the 4th quarter. Even having nothing to do with Goff’s performance, why not give the ZK some run? Just more stupidness.

  • Dan

    Now 62-21, Goff still in. Genius.

  • HeteroscedasticBear

    Dear Coach Dykes,

    If you love Cal like we all do then please resign. Save us the money and the trouble. Obviously you have no idea what you are doing. Do it for the players. They need hope. You are not it.

  • Easy Ed

    Whatever optimism I had last week was just taken away by USC. This is the WORSE season I’ve EVER experienced as a Bear.

  • Woj

    I hate to always be spot on about the putrid-ness of Cal 2013 football but week in week out I am.
    It’s nice in 1 respect, the Wehoefox’ and other polyanna optimist non-reality Dykes’ supporters really just have to STFU and admit to themselves realists like myself are correct.

    Cal lost by 40. USC scored 3 Buhs = 62.

    Simply terminate Barbour and tell Dykes he’s gone next year mid season too unless he wins 4+ games. Who would pay to watch this trainwreck. It’s almost comical how bad Cal is. Bottom 5 in D1 easily.

  • Easy Ed

    Moron grab another Cactus Cooler and a 3rd bag of Cheetos. Yes, Cal football is a disappointment just like you are to Daddy. The difference, Cal will get better, you? A loser you are and a loser you shall remain!

  • Calbearister

    Today’s reality check for the Dykes haters. Art Briles at Baylor. Anyone think he should have been fired in 2009 after starting 3-13 in a weak Big XII.?

    Baylor Bears (Big 12 Conference) (2008–present)
    2008 Baylor 4–8 2–6 T–5th (South)
    2009 Baylor 4–8 1–7 6th (South)
    2010 Baylor 7–6 4–4 4th (South) L Texas
    2011 Baylor 10–3 6–3 T–3rd W Alamo 12 13
    2012 Baylor 8–5 4–5 T–5th W Holiday
    2013 Baylor 8–0 5–0

  • Juancho

    Dan my brother good to see you on here again. You have been missed.

    I hope your new job is going good. I have been doing well except for watching football this season.

    I dont have a long list of why people should be optimistic about next year. Last year i was optimistic because we knew tedford would be fired.

    But dykes is proving so far to be tedford with lesser recruiting.

    Bearister thats interesting stats. Lets hope for something like that. But…

    1 win against asecond division team versus 4 wins is not analogous. How do we know if dykes is briles or buddy teevens

    Just like you said the big 12 was weak. The pac 12 isnt and its just getting stronger. A weaker conference means a team can make up ground. A conference where we give up 62 to usc?

    But i hope youre right. I want to go to a rose bowl so bad.

  • Juancho

    By the way dykes seems like a great guy. I dont hate him.

    It seems like dykes haters is a term were starting to use to discredit critique of the staff. Just like we did with tedford haters.

  • Couldn’t bear it. Left at 21-0 at end of 1st qtr? That would mean that they lost 41-28 after we left. What can I say? Loved the effort in the first qtr to establish the run? No. Loved the special teams effort? No. Loved walking out the gate to reclaim the rest of my day? Yes. Not looking back; and looking to the future. No season tix next yr, that’s for sure. Take that to the bank Sandy.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    HAHAHAHAHA…way too easy. I have too much class to comment any further on today’s beatdown.

  • wehofx

    woj = moron = coward = punk

    Calbearister, exactly. In 09, in conf, Baylor went 1 – 7 in a weak Big XII. Next year, if SD goes 1-7 in conf and 4-8, a lotta people here will freak. If we do that in SD’s 3rd year, I’ll freak. 7-6/4-4, however, will be fine with me.

    That said, today was brutal. Watched it w friends. It was so ugly, I didn’t even want to drink – and that happens once every…never. Don’t know if I have the stomach to re-watch the dvr.

    I still think it sucks but sure seems like SD is gonna have to fire Buh and Co. Even before Nickerson got hurt, the lapses by back 7 were terrible.

    The timing will have to be just like JT’s – week or 2 max – after furd/Nov 23 so SD can start search. Hire new DC and staff right after the Holidays/Bowls so they can get to recruiting Jan 2. (I’m pretty sure there is a Holiday dark period Dec 15 to Jan 1 in which all recruiting is prohibited.)

    If SD sticks w Buh and Co, it’ll take some big brass balls and confidence that Buh can…WILL turn it around. To state the obvious, firing buh is the cya move. How SD deals w D staff in next 4 to 6 weeks will reveal a lot, a whole lot, about the man.

    imo ST and Tommerdahl (sp) were one of the few consistent performers this year. Today, however, was embarrassingly bad – even w all the frosh pressed into service. He’s got 2 games to right that ship.

    Juancho, any time to work on list of up and coming DC’s?

  • SteveNTexas

    Odds are there will always be a coach that has a horrid losing season but does well the next. For every one of those however, there will be 10 whose next season is just as bad.

    Someone who knows more than I do can check the Baylor situation and see how that fits with ours. Funny I was walking door-to-door in Rockport Texas today and I guy asked me if I recognized what college he went to by the color he painted his house -Baylor Green

    If Dykes can recruit a top class he should be given another year. If he can’t and especially if players leave, then he should be gone.

  • wehofx


    >>>1 win against asecond division team versus 4 wins is not analogous. >>>

    The 3 non conf wins were against really bad teams like wake(??). But I take your point.

    How do we know if dykes is briles or buddy teevens?

    We don’t. An HC has to get at least 3 years – it used to 4, one complete recruiting cycle. No hot/up and coming HC and his agent will take a job knowing they don’t have 3 years minimum to install their system.

    Example: Art Briles

    I think SD is going to get us to a Rose Bowl. But, if he turns out to be Teevens, he’ll be fired in Dec 2015 along w SB.

    That said, “critiquing” game plans, play calls, BAD TACKLING are totally fair game.

    ie, I am so tired of that flanker tunnel screen. The D knows it’s coming, and even w improved wr blocking, it gets blown up every time. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what it’s supposed to set up.